A number of measures have been emphasised by Laois IFA as the Covid-19 crisis continues.
John Fitzpatrick, Chair of Laois IFA noted that the organisation has 20 branches in Laois. “We have been in contact with all of them,” said John.
“We are asking our members to be aware of people in their communities, not just farmers. Particularly, elderly and vulnerable people. “We are asking them to keep in contact with people through technology or whatever means.
“As regards farmers, I want to emphasise the importance to them of having a plan b in place in case they need to go into isolation.
“An alternative plan is needed to keep the farm running, especially for those farmers who are living and farming on their own.
“What happens to the farm if you go into isolation. You need someone who knows the basics of what is going on in your farm.
“Regarding the wider picture, the agri sector has to be kept going. It's important to obey all the guidelines whilst doing that. We are saying for example, in something like dairy, there is no need to go out and meet the person collecting milk. Just leave soap and water out.
“The importance of safety can't be overstressed. This is an extremely busy time on farms and children are now home from school. Safety is paramount.”
As regards market conditions, John acknowledged that the closure of McDonalds was a blow for beef, but this was counterbalanced somewhat by a rise in meat sales in supermarkets and shops.
Some type of EU aid will be needed if the situation gets out of control, he said.
He also emphasised to the public that there is no need for panic buying.